# Basic Blackjack Strategies – Hard Total

• Hard Total

In Blackjack, a hard hand is a hand without an Ace. Therefore, a hard hand is a more rigid hand when compared to a soft hand, not allowing the player to make any choice regarding the value of the cards in his hand. In other words, if the player has two 5s, then he has a hand of 10 and if he has a 10 and a Queen, he has a hand of 20, and so on.

When dealing with a hard hand, the player must conceive a solid game strategy. The best way to play a hard hand is to maintain a basic strategy where the player always assumes the dealer has a ten on his hole card. In other words, if the dealer shows his hole card and it is a 10, you must assume that he has a hand of 20. This calculation of an estimated total will be crucial to winning the hand most of the time.

However, if the dealer has a lower card such as a 6 or lower, then the player with a hard hand must take the stand option, i.e. stand and hold, waiting for the dealer to bust (have a hand value above 21).

Let’s have a look at other strategies you can use in the presence of a hard hand:

1. If you have a hand of 8, the obvious strategy is to hit.
2. If you have a hand between 9 and 11, you should double your bet in most cases. With a hand of 11, you must double even if the dealer shows a card of value 10. Only if the dealer shows an Ace, you must hit and not double.
3. With a hand of 12 you must stay if the dealer’s hand has a value between 4 and 6. If the dealer has a hand above or below that value, you must hit.
4. With a hard hand between 17 and 21, you just stand.